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Q&A | 28 Questions For Rosemarie Umetsu

By Michael Vincent on April 12, 2016

Rosemarie Umetsu answers 28 questions, including the strangest place she’s ever been, and things that make Toronto a great place to live.

Rosemarie Umetsu (Photo: Derek Wong)
Rosemarie Umetsu (Photo: Derek Wong)

Every so often MT poses 60 questions to a local or visiting artist in Toronto who has made our classical music community that much more interesting. They pick and choose. The minimum response is 20 answers. A kind of Rorschach personality test, if you will.

Since opening her own fashion design consulting firm in 2000, Rosemarie Umetsu‘s impeccable eye for style has made her Toronto’s go-to designer for the arts community. Her client list reads like a who’s who of the arts world including, Chantal Kreviazuk, Joyce DiDonato, Veronica Tennant, Lang Lang, Sook-Yin Lee, Pinchas Zukerman, Patricia O’Callaghan, and Veronica Tennant (just to name a few). Headquartered at her boutique located in the trendy Yorkville area, The Atelier holds regular salon evenings and has become a meeting place for many artists in the city. Before becoming a designer, Rosemarie studied piano performance at the Trinity College of Music (UK) and the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto).

What are three things about Toronto that make you want to live here?

A rich and thriving Arts community from grassroots to established; a diverse cultural mosaic; Koerner Hall.

What are three things that Toronto doesn’t have but should?

A great Symphony Hall; More restos that serve full menu after 10:00 p.m.; A quaint and fabulous independent bookstore.

Name the musical equivalent to junk food.

Abba #guiltypleasure.

Default drink/cocktail of choice?

A Dillon’s Rose Gin Martini (and Champagne of course).

Your role models?

My dad.

Your favourite sound?

The pop of a champagne cork.

Your least favourite sound?

My alarm.

Your favourite smells?

Fresh Flowers — (Gardenias, Hyacinths, Roses, Jasmine especially)

The strangest place you’ve ever been to?


The three books that you read that made an impact on you in your formative years?

Keats’ Selected Poems 1820, Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Everything Lewis Carroll.

Shoe of choice?

Brian Atwood all the way.

Your three favourite films?

My Fair Lady, Taking SidesMidnight In Paris.

The television show that you could tolerate re-runs of?

Frasier and The West Wing.

Under what circumstances would you join the army?

If Balenciaga designed the combat uniform and Louboutin designed the combat footwear.

How do you know when you can trust someone?

By their choice of wine or cocktail.

What is the best thing about your work?

Collaborating with so many artists and creating for them.

The relatively normal piece of clothing that you believe you’d look the most ridiculous in?

Sweatshirt and jeans.

What are you listening to as you answer these questions?

My husband swearing at the Blue Jays.

What musical instrument do you secretly long to play?


What is the game that you’re best at?

Scrabble and most word games.

If you had a motto, what would it be?

Live passionately, love ardently, judge not, regret never, and insert laughter everywhere possible.

Your favourite word?


Your least favourite word?


Your first memory?


Three pieces, songs, or arias that you could listen to on repeat for an hour?

Just three: ? Strauss Four Last Songs, Franck Violin Sonata, Bach b-.

The one place that you have the least interest in ever visiting?

A mall.

The best way to die?

Without knowing (ideally while doing something I love).

The piece of music you want to be played at your funeral?

Mahler 2.

For more Q & A’s visit, here.


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Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is the Editor-in-chief Ludwig Van and CEO of Museland Media. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. He has worked as a senior editor for over fifteen years and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
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